This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
To watch Professor Colin Grant discuss the initiative in more detail, visit www.universitybusiness.co.uk


Tackling world problems through academic partnership


A UK institution launches a University Global Partnership


INTERVIEW 61


Prof. Colin Grant





Professor Colin Grant, Pro Vice-Chancellor of International Relations at the University of Surrey, talks about a new


initiative, the University Global Partnership Network (UGPN), which launched at the end of August. The UGPN, founded by the University of Surrey, North Carolina State University (USA), and the Universidade de São Paulo (Brazil), intends to pool the talents of a number of world-leading universities to create comprehensive research networks, as well as improving graduate prospects through innovation in curriculum and promoting research, teaching and learning across new contexts and disciplines.


Why is the pooling of global knowledge important? Global problems (climate change, ageing, political instability, water purity and zoonotic disease) are complex and interrelated problems that require bigger and yet reasonably agile teams, pooling complementary expertise. Graduates, researchers and staff do not


lead professional lives in a vacuum or a purely national context. Careers are more flexible, less secure, big shifts in the global economy are underway. To remain effective (matching top research with impactful, cutting-edge teaching programmes), we need to recognise these multiple contexts and seize them as an opportunity. Agility is key.


What does involvement in the initiative mean for the University of Surrey? It means enriching the Surrey experience overseas and on-campus. Internationalisation has to be holistic or it becomes an appendage, a fig leaf. Our approach has been to address almost every function from an international perspective, under a range of different horizons.


Collaboration is a hot discussion topic in higher education at present. In your opinion, how big is senior management’s appetite for partnerships? At Surrey there is, as one can see from the UGPN, a healthy appetite for partnership. The


For more information on the the University Global Partnership visit www.universitiesglobalpartnershipnetwork.org


Interview_Surrey.v1.md.indd 61 12/9/11 18:54:40


same applies to Universidade de São Paulo (USP) and North Carolina State University (NCSU) and indeed our other related partners at the College of Engineering at Seoul National University. Each of the founding members (Surrey, USP, NCSU) can point to a very long tradition of partnerships with industry and other universities. For the UK the partnership history has


tended to be loose. Often, this meant a series of bilateral agreements that fade when staff move on. The UGPN proposes what I have called elsewhere a ‘tight multilateralism’. To this end, we will support our respective senior management teams with a UGPN senior management team – the Executive Committee, with equal membership across the founding partners. There are risks right now: some inflammatory


debates about immigration/migration; the uncertainties arising from the new fee regime in the UK. National risks rightly consume much attention but we need our senior teams to keep their eye on the international and the wider horizon in my view.●


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82